Friday, May 10, 2013

Roderick on the Line

Here's the thing: Music is not the only thing I listen to. There are also a handful of non-musical podcasts that I enjoy, and right now Roderick on the Line just may be my favorite.

The podcast consists of conversations between two men: Merlin Mann, an ADHD-suffering writer, and John Roderick, a musician who is either the most interesting person in the world or the best bull-shitter in the world. I find it beneficial to assume it's the former. Listening to an hour plus conversation between two people might not sound like the best use of your time, but I promise you it is.

Roderick has so many incredible stories that it would be hard to believe they're all true if he didn't sound so honest. He grew up in Alaska the son of a well-connected and well-to-do attorney. He then wandered the world with little more than the clothes on his back, at one point attempting to hitchhike to Mt. Kilimanjaro, and then pursued a successful indie rock career. He now enjoys eating meatball subs in his bathtub and learning voraciously about World War II. The contrast between his bohemian past and his seemingly sedentary present is one of the most interesting things about him.

He seems to be able to speak on any subject, particularly Hitler and music. They might talk about something like RealDolls instead, to hilarious effect. Roderick might explain how he makes efforts to shake a tail, even though he has no reason to think anyone is following him. Or, they might create an elaborate future scenario about how he could become the sheriff of a small town on the Washington-Canada border. It's always well worth hearing.

Roderick one of those middle-aged men who have opinions about everything. His tend to be extremely intelligent, and rarely do they track popular opinion. For example, his take on bureaucracy. “The bureaucracies in [the Eastern Bloc] countries have completely broken down, and when you travel to places like that and you see what it is like when people are living in a world without bureaucracies, you realize that bureaucracies are what separate us from beasts.”

Search for it in your iTunes store, or wherever else you can get podcasts, I suppose. Or click here. It is so good.


  1. FMA - a thousand thanks for turning me on to the existence of this podcast. These guys are really sharp, and funny as hell.


  2. Awesome. Glad you like it.

    I highly recommend starting from the first episode and working your way to the present. I've only listened to the first 30, plus 66 thorough 69 (because they were new), and I think I missed some of the running jokes.